This post was originally published in April 2018 and updated in March 2023 after a return visit to Lapland.
Searching for a truly unique and unforgettable travel experience to add to your winter holiday? Look no further than the Kakslauttanen Glass Igloo Hotel in Finland. This stunning winter hotel boasts glass-roofed igloos where you can fall asleep under the stars (or Northern Lights!), while staying cozy and warm inside your own personal Arctic oasis. The igloos are the perfect blend of modern luxury and natural beauty, providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But is Kakslauttanen really as magical as it seems? In this blog post, I'll give you the truth about this one-of-a-kind hotel. Following my trip to Lapland, people have been asking me non-stop about my experience staying in a glass igloo hotel. It was the most popular and engaged Instagram post from my trip! I figured it was time to write an actually honest review of my experience. I’m spilling the tea about the good, the bad and ugly of staying at Kakslauttanen Glass Igloo Hotel.
The Truth About Staying at Kakslauttanen Glass Igloo Hotel
Why a Glass Igloo Hotel?
I first visited Finland in January 2018 when my best friend Angie was living in Helsinki. One of the first ideas that we planned together was a trip to Lapland. We both wanted to experience the winter magic that Lapland seemed to offer. Angie joked that we should stay in a glass igloo hotel, and I was on-board before the sentence could even come out of her mouth. I was 100% supportive of this idea!
We started researching glass igloo hotel options. When we saw the price tag, she dropped the idea. I didn’t. There were very few parts of my trip to Finland that I was more excited about than staying in the glass igloo hotel. From all the photos that I saw and research that I did, it just seemed like one of those quintessential Lapland experiences. I have since returned to Lapland two more times in 2023, as part of my job as a trip leader. On every one of my trips, I have stayed in a glass igloo hotel! It’s just one of those things that you have to do here.
About Kakslauttanen Winter Resort
Popular across social media feeds thanks to well-produced promotional videos, Kakslauttanen Winter Resort is now the most infamous hotel in northern Finland. This instagrammable hotel offers visitors the chance to sleep in glass igloos for optimal viewing of the Northern Lights. Queue the snuggles and romance please!
The arctic resort offers a few different types of glass igloos, including the traditional glass igloos that you have likely seen on social media, as well as the Kelo-Glass Igloo (pictured below) and snow igloos.
The resort sits on a massive piece of land, a large portion of which has been left as wilderness, adding to the magical nature of this hotel. The hotel’s property is divided by a small river, with the glass igloos on one side and the Kelo-Cabins on the other, and common areas like the lodge in between.
Prior to Arrival
There are a number of glass igloo resort options in Lapland, so I did some research into the various places. I had my heart set on staying at Kakslauttanen since I started planning a 1 week trip in Lapland. It just seemed so enchanting and romantic. I knew I wanted to have this unique experience!
During my research, I saw some online reviews of the resort with mixed opinions from former guests. A lot of people complained that the resort was overpriced, nickel-and-dimed people for every service and was overall a bit disappointing. But I persisted, and we booked a Kelo-Glass Igloo cabin for 4.
Going in with the knowledge that our experience might have a few snags, I think I had realistic expectations for our experience. I certainly expected the experience to be expensive (honestly, everything in Lapland is), but I was incredibly excited for the cabin itself and the natural surroundings we would be experiencing.
Arrival at Kakslauttanen
The closest major airport to Kakslauttanen is the Ivalo airport. It is a 2 hour flight from Helsinki with daily service on Finnair. We rented a car at the tiny airport, and drove ourselves 45 minutes south to Kakslauttanen. The drive to the resort is picturesque with nice views of snow covered forests and a few hilly overlook spots.
We pulled off the main highway when our Google Map instructed us to, and proceeded to drive about 2 km straight into the woods with no signs to guide our way. It was a bit challenging to find our way to the main lobby of the resort, and they are in desperate need of a few more signs to mark the route.
Once we arrived, we were given a map of the grounds to aid in our discovery of the area. Due to the high snow levels, guests are given a wooden sleigh to push your luggage to your cabin! We were lucky to have rented a car, and could pull up right next to our cabin to unload our bags.
Positive Parts of the Experience
Kelo Cabin Accommodations
The cabin itself was the thing that I loved most about my experience at Kakslauttanen. The Kelo Cabin was perfect! The traditional style of the log cabins fits well with the natural surroundings, including a wood burning fireplace and cozy down comforters. It even has an electric sauna inside the cabin! I am obsessed with the Finnish tradition of taking saunas, so I used this amenity frequently during my 2 night stay.
The best part was, of course, the glass igloo on the front of the cabin for natural viewing. There are two beds in the igloo which you can adjust to incline for more comfortable aurora viewing.
Unfortunately it snowed the entire time that we stayed at Kakslauttanen, which means the cloud cover was too thick to see any aurora. Of course, we were disappointed to have missed the Northern Lights. Thankfully, the comfort of the Kelo Cabin accommodations still led to an incredibly enjoyable experience!
Coordinated Wilderness Excursions
The best way to experience Lapland in the winter is with outdoor adventures. One of (the many) ala-carte amenities you can add onto your stay at Kakslauttanen Winter Resort are wilderness excursions. I really enjoyed these, and I found that Kakslauttanen chose high-quality providers to coordinate unique Lapland experiences like a husky safari, northern lights photography seminar and more.
Kakslauttanen makes it really easy to sign up for different winter activities right at the front desk. You can also book them in advance, which I would recommend doing if you are visiting in the height of the tourism season, like February or March. The tours can fill up, and you would hate to miss something! Nature is one of the reasons to visit Lapland, so make sure you take advantage of it! We did one per day, and that felt like the perfect amount. It is easy to arrive for the transportation at the front desk, and Kakslauttanen takes care of the rest.
Incredible Natural Ambiance
By far the loveliest part of the resort is the ambiance of the natural surroundings. We felt lucky to get the cabin that we did because it was on the edge of the property (cabin #6 on the map above), so we couldn’t see anything out of our glass igloo except the wilderness. It was wonderful!
The grounds of the resort have open access for guests to explore, so we wandered around on foot, taking in the cold temperatures, fresh snow and the sheer darkness of Lapland’s skies in the winter. You can also rent snowshoes to make the walk more comfortable, but a thick pair of Sorel boots works just fine too!
I was amazed by how romantic the vibe in the woods was. This is a family resort, but when you are cozied up inside your igloo, it doesn’t feel like it. Is there anything more romantic than watching snow come down with a glass of wine inside your log cabin? Kakslauttanen certainly has a picturesque vibe!
Not-So Positive Parts of the Experience
To be honest, we didn’t have good interactions with the staff at Kakslauttanen. They seemed busy, stressed and unhappy. I didn’t find people to be willing to provide helpful service. When we would ask questions at the main desk, the answers were curt and straightforward. If we went up to the main lodge for coffee or breakfast, we were rarely greeted or even acknowledged, which led to a general sense of discomfort when interacting with the staff.
This resort is quite remote—pretty much in the middle of nowhere. As such, I expected the resort to provide amenities that guests need, such as snacks, firewood, etc. Given the high price point for the accommodations and the luxury branding that Kakslauttanen shows online, I think I was expecting a little bit more from a guest service perspective.
Most of the services that Kakslauttanen offers are ala-carte, carrying an extra price tag. The resort does make this somewhat clear from the beginning by sending you an elaborate pricing sheet. However, I found it incredibly difficult to read or understand. The materials they sent ahead of time lacked much detail or organization, so it was confusing to understand which amenities are included and which are excluded.
We thought the only food that was included in our stay was breakfast. As such, we went and bought dinner supplies at the grocery store, only to find out when we arrived at the resort that dinner was included too. In general, I knew Kakslauttanen would be charging for extra services prior to arrival, but I think it was a bit overboard.
My Conclusion on Kakslauttanen
Given all these comments, you might be wondering what my conclusion about Kakslauttanen is. Would I recommend a stay at Kakslauttanen Winter Resort? Was it overrated?
I would say yes to both questions.
There is no way around it—Kakslauttanen is expensive, and high price tags often lead to high expectations. As a remote destination dependent on tourism, the options for accommodations are somewhat limited, thus making them by default costly and exclusive. I think people’s expectations of what Kakslauttanen will be like are probably too high to begin with, inherently setting themselves up to be disappointed.
The expectations are further inflated by social media. Instagram has a way of making everything look incredibly impressive. Certainly Kakslauttanen is special and a bucket-list experience, but the reviews make the overinflated expectations of travelers apparent. They wanted far more than this experience would deliver.
However, staying in a glass igloo under the stars is one of the most unique accommodations in the world. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Do you want to cross off that bucket-list item? Then you’re going to choose a place like Kakslauttanen. Is the glass igloo hotel the best and most amazing place I’ve ever stayed? No. Is it one of the most unique and cool places I’ve ever stayed? Yes. And for that, it is special and I would recommend it.
If you choose to stay at Kakslauttanen Glass Igloo hotel, my recommendation would be to temper your expectations, splurge for the Kelo cabin (they are WAY nicer) and spend your time enjoying the natural surroundings of the area. Also, make sure to sign up for a few winter activities — they are some of the best ways to get outside and enjoy the Lapland wilderness! Don’t expect the best service or food of your life, but do expect an incredibly unique and romantic experience where you can enjoy the benefits of the resort while sleeping in the middle of the Finnish wilderness.
Have questions or comments about my experience at Kakslauttanen? Tell me below!
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